Jihadi Thoughts

Western commentators on things Islamic have a tendency to proceed by analogy, relating almost everything to supposedly comparable events or ideas from European or American praxis and theory. The conceit seems to be that the Islamic world resembles Seventeenth century Europe and that in due course Muslim Voltaire's or Rousseau's will emerge to lead their... Continue Reading →

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Manchester: This Is The Place

And these hard times again, in these streets of our city, but we won’t take defeat and we don’t want your pity. Because this is a place where we stand strong together, with a smile on our face, greater Manchester forever. (This Is The Place by Tony Walsh) Less than a day after dozens of... Continue Reading →

ISIS, Napoleons of Crime

When more or less abstract ideas begin to be translated by believers in them into facts on the ground then it behoves those of us who are the objects of this activity to pay some attention to the ideas in question. Channel 4's film ISIS: The Origins of Violence by the (very) English historian Tom... Continue Reading →

2. The Newsreader

Marianne ran her fingers through the tightly curled black hair that surrounded the perfect oval face she presented to the world and crossed one elegant leg over another. Like all newsreaders she was employed because of her intelligence, education, articulacy and talent. Aesthetics, however, thought Étienne were always an unspoken factor in such appointments. "Thank you... Continue Reading →

1. The Journey Begins

A priest had been murdered. The killers shouted Allahu Akbar before cutting the old man's throat as he knelt by his altar. "The motive for the attack," intoned the newsreader with apparent sincerity "is not yet known." Étienne rubbed the tip of his nose with the palm of his hand, a characteristic gesture when he was... Continue Reading →

Reason & Its Rivals

When faced with an unexplained phenomenon it may seem apparent that the best response is to investigate it. We can then assemble the data we have collected through our investigation, evaluate it and construct an hypothesis which explains the phenomenon with reference to all relevant facts. The obviousness of this approach, however, is a cultural... Continue Reading →

Muhammad & the West

It is, perhaps, remarkable how frequently people overlook the blindingly obvious. One certain truth is that the perspective from the inside looking out is always different from that of the outside looking in. Yet in the narratives that Westerners and Muslims tell about each other this simple fact is often never considered. (Westerners is not... Continue Reading →

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